Tape Challenge: Frozen Food Packaging & Splicing Tape

Splicing Tape for Industrial Freezer Packaging | via TAPED, the ECHOtape blog

One of the nation’s premier convenience and gasoline marketers has a big problem:  They couldn’t find a tape that would stick in sub-zero temperatures.

In an effort to eliminate waste and by-product, this major supplier to North American convenience stores was revamping their freezer packaging processes.  This continuous packaging process required a splicing tape that would work on packaging film inside an industrial freezer. We’re talking up to -30C.  Every tape the company tried had failed.  Cracking, splitting, or simply not adhering at all.

Lucky for them, we understand that frozen food packaging requires specific materials and expertise to ensure that the package will sustain sub-zero temperatures without cracking or leaking.

After finding out a few details on what they were trying to accomplish, we sent them a roll of our DC-M155A Cold Weather Double-Sided Tape for testing.  This high performance double sided polyester film (PET) tape is coated on both sides with a cold weather acrylic pressure sensitive adhesive, which forms a permanent bond with a wide variety of surfaces, including packaging film. It worked so well that they decided to push this to their other facilities for further testing, and potentially use our splicing tape for industrial freezer packaging in all of their North American packaging facilities!

Another challenge met by the ECHOtape Team!

 

Best of the Web in Building & Construction

No matter where you live in the US or Canada, it’s peak building season.  Which means that high-performance building pros just don’t have the time to cull the web for ideas, info, and inspiration. Which is why we’re doing the work for you. In this new series, ECHOtape surfs and shares some of the best content for contractors and builders. This month, these are 8 links worthy of your attention.

1. Thermal Insulation Growth. Increasing consumer awareness towards energy conservation will drive building thermal insulation market growth.  Last year, the Building Thermal Insulation Market was valued over $25 billion, and it’s slated to surpass $34.9 billion by 2024.  While you have to share your contact information to get a copy of the report, we believe it’s worth your time.  The article and report provide great insight on what to expect on thermal building insulation in the next several years when it comes to the different types of insulations. To get a full report, simply request a sample here.

2. Does Green Building Pay?  Yes. At least according to a new study from The University of Texas at Austin and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) found that new homes built to meet green building standards like LEED), are worth an average of $25,000 more in resale value than conventional homes. Learn more on how to cash in on this trend, read the full story here.

3. Next Gen Builders.  Tired of hearing about the labor shortage? Builderonline.com shared this great story about how one city is fighting back.

4. Metal Building Insulation.  This is a great technical overview of continuous Insulation for the Metal Building industry. Emphasis on technical.

5. Raising the Bar in 2018.   As avid readers of EcoBuildingPulse, this teaser made us click the ‘read more’ link.  You should too. The NRDC article talks about energy efficiencies and the savings Americans can benefit from if all of the building energy codes are followed.

6. Avoiding Wet Walls.  JLC’s Sunday Update is one of our favorite email newsletters.  But we found this article when researching water intrusion and continuous insulation.  It talks about the how important CI has become in the fight against condensation and water penetration, so much so that it’s now part of the energy codes in specific climate zones.

7. Fluid Reputation.  According to this article, preventive waterproofing not only adds value to new construction but protects a contractor’s reputation.

8. Straight Talk. This isn’t a new air sealing article, per se, but we found it and we love it so we’re sharing it.  Air-flow, air-sealing, air-leakage, air barriers—inside, outside and everything in-between—is there really a whole house solution for today’s builders and contractors?

What’s the best thing you’ve read on the web recently? Tell us about it via Facebook or LinkedIn!

5 Reasons Why Splicing Tape Fails

Most Common Slicing Tape Failures | via TAPED, the ECHOtape blog

No matter how it occurs, failure is frustrating and costly. Especially when it comes to splicing tape failures. Whether it fails because of weakness (snap or tear), carelessness (installation error), or conditions (extreme heat), shutting down any production line is not only incredibly expensive, but potentially catastrophic.

Which is why it’s so important to understand how and why splicing tape failures happen.

Most Common Splicing Tape Failures

In our experience, splicing tape failures typically occur for one of five reasons:

  1. Temperature. Once a splice is made, many times they will get subjected to high heat down the manufacturing line. We’re talking 350-degrees or higher. And as we already know, the tackiness of the adhesive tape is very temperature dependent. Too cold and the tape won’t bond. Too hot, and the bond might melt.
  2. Operator error.  It’s not always roll and go.  Did you put enough pressure on the tape? Did you clean the surface before applying the tape? Did you remember to remove the liner? (Yes, that happened!)
  3. Machine mis-calibration. Machines rely on two things to stay running properly: a skilled operator and routine calibration. If a splice bar isn’t calibrated properly, the splice might fail. It appears like an adhesive failure, but a micrometer difference in pressure or angle could affect the success of the splice.
  4. Speed. Flying splices are called that for a reason.  They are splices done at very high speeds.  You not only need a high tack for quick stick, but you need it to hold.  Splicing tape failures can happen if you do not get one of these features in the tape you select.
  5. Tape release. This one is simple… you didn’t choose the right tape for the substrate.

How To Prevent Splicing Tape Failures 

1. Test, and test again. We get it. The package label made monumental promises, but generally speaking, tape testing should always be done prior to use and in the field with real conditions.  Always test the tape to make sure it delivers the performance you expect.

2. Check the temperature. Carefully factor in the temperature variables, everything from storage temperature, ambient temperature and running temperature.

3. Check the speed and stress. How fast does the tape have to be applied?  How quickly does it need to adhere?  What about the stress factor? Splicing tape has to handle stress because the tape is the only thing holding one roll to another.

4. Consider the substrate. The correct tape for the right surface is critical.  With new and improved products being made every day by manufacturers, substrates changes and sometimes the tape for splicing needs to as well.

5. Proper storage.  Tape storage is sometimes critical for success.  When materials are bought in bulk and stored in dirty, wet or extremely hot or cold conditions for extended periods of time, the tape adhesive could deteriorate. (Read more about extending the shelf life of your double-sided tape here.)

The bottom line: Every splice is different because of different substrates, converting conditions, etc.  so you need to match the right tape to the right product.

ECHOtape is currently working on expanding our splicing tape line, with new products hopefully launching this fall.  Subscribe to our blog to get notified of new products and information! 

All in the Family

Family Generations in the Workplace | via TAPED, the ECHOtape blog
Grandfather and Grandson, together in the workplace!

Consider this:  A business run by a team of family members is more resilient and more likely to succeed than any other kind of company. Not as likely. More likely.  We like to believe we’re a living example of that adage.

ECHOtape was started by Stanley Edelstein, and it’s now managed by a second generation of Edelsteins.  BUT what really makes ECHOtape a family business are the other families within.  Like Darren and Kevin Quesnel, and Mike and Stephen Grevatt. [Read about them here!]

And this summer, we added a third generation to the mix!

Jimmy Berghello worked for ECHOtape for 10 years before retiring.  In fact, this 76-year-old still comes back to work special projects and odd jobs just because he loves working and he loves the business.

This summer, Jimmy encouraged his grandson, Preston —  who also happens to be Darren Quesnel’s nephew — to apply.  Preston is just a student right now, but this summer he got to work alongside his grandfather on a relabeling job!

“Preston used to come to our holiday parties as a baby!” says Cherie Edelstein. ” Although he doesn’t remember it, there are pictures on our wall! Grandfather, son-in-law and grandson. We really are a family-oriented company. “

Better Barricades

Choosing the Right Housewrap | via TAPED, the ECHOtape blog

If you haven’t noticed, the subject of air barriers is kind of important to us. Obviously because tape plays a major role is sealing the building envelope, but also because we care about reducing energy consumption.  Consider this:

39 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs). According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), that’s how much energy was consumed by all the residential and commercial buildings in the United States in 2015. Those BTUs represent approximately 40 percent of all the energy consumed nationwide. Concurrently, these structures account for about 38 percent of all CO2 emissions in the country.

This statistic comes from a recent blog post by our friends over at Barricade Building Products. Like us, they are diligently working on new product innovation addressing the rapidly changing needs of high performance building products. Turns out, choosing the right housewrap is much like choosing the right tape. Great minds think alike!

Check out Barricade Building Products blog for more valuable information.

Forcing the Issue: Should Time Off Be Required?

Should Vacations Be Required | via TAPED, the ECHOtape blogWith vacation season now in full throttle, here are some surprising statistics:  American workers left a stunning 658 million vacation days unused in 2015.  That’s according to U.S. Travel Association’s Project Time Off.  A similar study last year by career website Glassdoor found that only 54% of employees who receive paid vacation used that time.

As someone who plots and plans another vacation often while currently on vacation, my question is why??!  And I certainly thought, “Not at ECHOtape.”

Turns out, I was wrong.  I didn’t have to go very deep into my contacts to find ECHOtape staffers who have not taken vacations in several years.  Some say it’s just too expensive to take a family of three or four or five on an week’s adventure.  Scheduling was problematic for several staffers whose spouse, partner and/or significant also works. Teenage children with social lives, athletics and part time jobs can be difficult to wrangle.

All valid reasons. But another reason lurking out there? Good old fashioned fear. Employees fear getting behind on their work (34%), believe no one else at their company can do the work while they’re out (30%), they are completely dedicated to their company (22%), and they feel they can never be disconnected (21%).  Smartphones are partly to blame there.

Here’s the thing:  No matter what your reason,  not taking a vacation hurts employees and hurts the company. Skipping vacation time as a way to climb the corporate ladder faster has been found to be ineffective; indeed, a new study has found that employees who take a vacation are more likely to get promoted and get a raise!

Bestselling author Shawn Achor, The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness and founder of consulting firm GoodThink, writes in Harvard Business Review that vacation isn’t about “you”.  Vacation actually helps the entire company thrive, from the employee’s mental state and productivity, to coworkers ability to get along and problem solve together, to the company’s bottom line.

Achor even cites research that found when “the brain can think positively, productivity improves by 31 percent, sales increase by 37 percent, and creativity and revenues can triple.”

So what’s an employer to do??  Here are some innovative ideas I thought could be great food for thought for us at ECHOtape:

  • At Kik, it’s mandatory for employees to take at least one week off every four months. Its offices also close for two weeks around the holidays.
  • FullContact pays a whopping bonus of $7,500 to employees who take a vacation.
  • HubSpot makes all employees take at least two weeks of vacation every year.
  • Rather than force vacation, Boston Consulting Group  started mandating that team members take time off during the week, whether it was to head to the gym or spend time with family.

All great ideas, but I’m curious… how does your company encourage employees to take time off? Share it with us via Facebook or LinkedIn. 

Tape Challenge: Reflective LED Lighting for Indoor Sports Complex

Tape Challenge Vinyl Fabric to Painted Steel | via TAPED, the ECHOtape blogWhat does indoor tennis have to do with tape?

Well, earlier this year, we received a tape challenge from an indoor sports lighting company.  The company, who installs professional LED lighting in large indoor tennis arenas, had developed a new way to enhance the lighting without adding extra wattage by draping reflective fabric from the purlins of the complex.

Originally,  the company was using a liquid adhesive to hang the fabric, but the smell was causing dizziness and nausea among the installers and players alike.  An alternative was needed, and fast.

ECHOtape to the rescue! Read more

Know Your Splice

Splicing Tape 101 | via TAPED, the ECHOtape blog

Depending on what you are converting, the manufacturing process and the substrate, there all kinds of possible splices.  Choosing the wrong one not only increases the risk of tearing but can slow down the converting process or stop it all together.

Splicing tape is no different. Available in a variety of carriers with different adhesive systems, splicing tapes may be single or double-coated; have a polyester, film, or paper carriers; have high-temperature adhesives; be repulpable; the list goes on. How do you choose? Well, like much else in our industry, it’s about choosing the right tape for the right application and conditions. Here’s a quick primer:

KNOW THE APPLICATION.

Butt splice.  This is a single-sided splice. The paper is not overlapped; rather it butts up against each other and you use a single-sided tape to connect the two pieces over the seam.

Overlap splice. This is double-sided splice, where the ends are overlapped.  

W or V splice. Although W and V splices are being phased out, the process was most often used in newsprint and paper mills. The W or V pattern of the tape application creates more surface area, making the seam less likely to tear.

SINGLE OR DOUBLE?

Single-coated splicing tape is suitable for butt splicing.

Double-coated splicing tapes are suitable for use with laminators, coaters, and other converting operations. They are commonly used in flying splices, manual splices, core starting, and roll finishing applications.

KNOW YOUR MATERIAL

Paper. Corrugate. Foam. Rubber. Even metal can be spliced. You must know the material, or substrate, the tape is adhering to. For example, coated paper is harder to splice. Used for specialty applications, such as produce boxes and food service containers, coated paper requires an aggressive splicing tape with higher tack and quick start. 

Special finishes that get laminated to wallboard, often used in anti-mold or fireproof products in commercial buildings, are also challenging. They may require an aggressive splicing tape with a very high-temperature range.

KNOW YOUR FIELD CONDITIONS

Temperature.  Will the splice be subjected to heat?  cold?   For example, in certain manufacturing processes, flying splices may often need to go through a heat chamber and so high-temperature resistance is critical so the tape does not fail.  

How fast or how slow?  Manual or zero speed splices happen by hand, so the roll or machine is either not moving or is moving so slowly (zero speed) that getting a good stick is easier.   Flying splices, on the other hand, happen quickly.  Both rolls are moving very quickly, yet the splice still needs to get made.  For example, the LA Times flying splice is 1200’ per minute! This type of splice requires immediate high tack because there’s only one chance to stick.

Moisture or Humidity.  Repulpable splicing tapes dissolve in water. These splicing tapes ensure that the substrate and adhesive do not gum up the machinery and stop the production process in the production of paper, where water is used.

CHOOSE YOUR TAPE 

Not all splicing tape is created equal. Make sure you consider all the facts — your application, material, and conditions. Only then can you match the right tape to your project. ECHOtape’s full line of splicing tapes offers productivity and significant cost savings, regardless of what you are splicing.  If you’re looking for splicing tape for your business, request a FREE tape sample after you tell us about your business challenge.

What type of splicing tape do you think the industry is lacking? Share your thoughts via Facebook or LinkedIn.

Introducing CL-W6064: Not your father’s duct tape

CL-W6064: Not your father’s duct tape | via TAPED, the ECHOtape blog
Introducing ECHOtape’s CL-W6064 – A 21st Century Duct Tape Designed to Tackle 21st Century Challenges. 

Remember that story about the pilot in Alaska who repaired his bear-ravaged plane with duct tape to fly home? Or the time astronauts used duct tape to save the Apollo 13 space mission?

What started as a battlefield repair tool has truly become an iconic American fix-all, helping DIYers, professionals and dads out of sticky situations throughout the years.

But this isn’t your father’s duct tape. CL-W6064 is better.  Much, much better.

“The inspiration for CL-W6064 is the culmination of forty years of experience in pressure sensitive adhesives combined with the frustrations professional contractors encounter daily on the job site,” says Risa Edelstein. “We wanted to create a material that was strong but lightweight, industrial quality without requiring industrial equipment to use and took advantage of the inherent versatility of duct tape.”

Indeed, when it comes to high-performance building, the average duct tape just doesn’t cut it.  

ECHOtape CL-W6064 strikes a delicate balance between strength and usability, providing the maximum amount of sticking power without sacrificing ease of use. How did we make that happen? By using a new, advanced technology — a two head coating process.  The first coat ensures high sheer strength, and the second coat, high initial tack.  The result is a beautifully streamlined piece of tape that is lighter, yet stronger than you would imagine, and easy to unwind.

The World's Best Duct Tape - ECHOtape CL-W6064
The combination of an aggressive adhesive, flexible backing and rugged all-weather shell makes it one of the few professional grade tapes to consistently stick to smooth, rough or uneven surfaces, indoors or out.

Furthermore, we implemented a special quality control process where testing the thickness of the adhesive happens inline – during the manufacturing process. This allows the tape to be made precisely to spec and provides better quality control.

The combination of an aggressive adhesive, flexible backing and rugged all-weather shell makes it one of the few professional grade tapes to consistently stick to smooth, rough or uneven surfaces, indoors or out. It’s completely hand tearable, leaving a crisp, clean edge, and the uniquely engineered mesh lays flat on any surface, with no twisting or curling.

FEATURES

  • Aggressive adhesive provides superior holding power
  • Excellent quick stick to a wide variety of smooth and rough surfaces
  • Flexible backing conforms well to irregular surfaces
  • Smooth unwind makes it easier to apply in the field
  • Our fine mesh easy-tear cloth leaves a clean crisp edge when torn by hand
  • Tape lays flat so there is no twisting and curling

APPLICATIONS

  • General purpose construction uses and repair
  • Patching and seaming a wide variety of materials
  • Temporary holding and bonding
  • Hanging and patching polyethylene sheeting
  • Sealing polyethylene waste disposal bags
  • Smooth unwind makes it easier to apply in the field
  • Maintenance applications in manufacturing environments
  • Bundling and color coding

But don’t just take our word for it.  Put ECHOtape’s new CL-W6064 duct tape to the test by clicking the link below.  We can’t wait to hear your feedback.

 

8 Things We Learned at Plastec East

It’s no secret that we love trade shows. There really isn’t any better way to learn what’s new and trending in various segments of our markets.  In June, ECHOtape attended PLASTEC East, which is like six industry shows in one, advanced manufacturing plus packaging, automation, plastics, quality, and medtech!  The show spotlighted two industry mega-trends — 3D printing and smart manufacturing — and while these aren’t our typical markets, we recognize the fact that smart manufacturing is going to impact the way all products are made.  This is what we learned:  

1. When it comes to manufacturing, the U.S. is focusing on improving design, short runs, customization and prototyping. The common consensus being that when volumes are large, overseas manufacturing can be much more cost effective.  This means, to some degree, that the U.S. is adapting its value proposition and adjusting to global competition. My guess is that design will continue to play a big role.  Think Apple.

2. 3D Printing was a show stopper and is gearing up to change the manufacturing rules.  There are many companies who are now offering prototyping services as well as small production runs.  It is hard to imagine where this will go, but it is definitely here to stay. Currently, a number of small, multi-generational family run businesses in old school industries such as packaging and small scale manufacturing, so this is a huge opportunity for innovation and disruption.

3D Printing Innovations | via TAPED, the ECHOtape blog
While this example of flood-coated packaging from Igus is expensive relative to traditional options, it is actually an inexpensive form of advertising. Time to rethink package and print!

3. Printing and packaging have come a very, very long way. You can’t help but be inspired by what is now possible and affordable. Take, for example, the flood-coated Igus sample box shown above. While this type of process is expensive relative to plain white or brown boxes, it is actually an inexpensive form of advertising.  Time to up our game!

8 Things We Learned at Plastec | via TAPED, the ECHOtape blog
This 4-color, glossy label was produced by a desktop printer right on the trade show floor.

4. Office table top, 4-color label printers are fast and increasingly affordable.  You can print out thousands of beautiful labels right on your desktop, like this lobster label printed right on the trade show floor.  Having this kind of customized capability can help with improved marketing efforts and/or anything else we need to do in small runs.

5. We convert a lot of material in the U.S., meaning, we take rolls of things and make them into other things which is where splicing tape is used. The U.S. excels at this and is able to meet the needs of customers with smaller runs and more customized products.

Maybe it’s time to disrupt the promotional product industry. What would be useful, and unique, promotional swag for trade shows?

 

 

6.Robots! The future is now. Robots are part of a bigger trend known as smart manufacturing, which is poised to help make the manufacturing sector faster, more efficient, and more profitable. 

7. Online shopping has become a multi-industry disruptor, forcing many brick and mortars out of business. However, it’s also pushing innovation in packaging. For example, PackSize.com has an innovative system that produces on demand custom boxes based on an ecommerce order and the size of stuff in it.  Staples is using this technology to reduce waste and trim shipping expenses.  

8. And, last but not least, it doesn’t matter how trendy or current the trade show, finding really cool promotional items is virtually impossible. Who’s going to disrupt this industry?!  

Viva La Vacay!

Why Summer Vacations Still Matter | via TAPED, the ECHOtape blogAt ECHOtape, we believe whole-heartedly in the power of V… Vacation, baby!  Way better for our brains than overtime, time away from the office boosts morale, improves concentration and replenishes job performance.  Where ever you get your break — an afternoon in a hammock reading a book, a weekend beach getaway park, or climbing Kilimanjaro — doesn’t matter so much as long as you simply take some time off work.

In the spirit of adventure, we asked ECHOtapers where they were going this summer:

Why Summer Vacations Still Matter | via TAPED, the ECHOtape blog“We love the outdoors,” says Michael Gauthier. “In fact, my favorite vacation of all time would have to be our 2007 trip to Prince Edward Island (shown above). Two kids, two adults and two dogs (at right) in one little pickup for two weeks.  Awesome family memories! This year we’re all going camping again. My 6 year old daughter has never been. I want to introduce it to her while she’s young.”

Zuzanna Chudzinski is also rolling out the sleeping bags this summer. “This year, we decided to go hike the Malbaie, and camp and bike Pointe-Taillon! I’m extra excited for Pointe-Taillon because you rent out bike trailers, pack it up with your equipment and bike for 21km to get to your campsite with a beautiful waterfront view.”

No stranger to adventure, Zuzanna’s favorite vacation was Greece (shown left). “My boyfriend and I spent two weeks traveling between Santorini, Crete and driving all the way through the mainland from Thessaloniki all the way back to Athens. It was incredible!”

Patrice Laplante is letting someone else do the driving. “I’m researching late summer cruises,” he says.  “I don’t know where exactly yet, but it will be my first cruise.” It’s center court for Mauricio Acuna (shown above) who planned his summer vacation around the US Open Tennis Grand Slam in New York, and the UK for Deepa Patel. “This is short trip for my cousins wedding. Both the bride and groom are from different sides of the family — they are not related!! — so I  am very much looking forward to seeing so many family members.Why Summer Vacations Still Matter | via TAPED, the ECHOtape blogBut this is my second vacation this year.  I visited Barcelona and Ibiza (at right) just a couple of months ago.  Ibiza is known as party town but we had a complete different experience there. We rented a car and did some beach hopping, enjoyed the sunsets and the delicious food. I would go back in a heartbeat!

And last, but not least, Risa Edelstein is going to Isle Au Haut in Maine. “It’s a six-hour drive from Boston, but a very special place because we stay at a 1930s lodge that feels like you are back in that era. Not to mention that the hiking is incredible.”  Who else is joining Risa on Isle Au Haut? Her dog, Daisy. (shown above) “I bring Daisy when I can!  She comes with me to Maine and is a serious hiker.”

What are your vacation plans? Do you include your four-legged family too? Tell us about it via Facebook

 

What Babson Students Taught Us About Tape

What Babson College Taught Us About Tape | via TAPED, the ECHOtape blog

Last fall, we submitted a project to Babson College and we were accepted into what is known as their Babson Consulting Alliance Program. BCAP is a capstone project in which teams of Babson MBA students work with companies to solve and/or address real business challenges for 14 weeks. This past May, our team presented their findings. Here’s a recap:

Initially, we tasked our team to determine the key variables used to determine if a given residential construction professional will use specialty tape when insulating the exterior of a new home.  Almost immediately, the Babson team realized that “tape” is too broad of a term, and based on preliminary interviews with Babson Alumni and the Top 100 US Builders, they refocused on outsulation, or as we like to call it, continuous insulation,  specifically air sealing practices, trends and alternative techniques.

Read more